Each one of her mom’s boyfriends abused her. At the same time, her beloved mother was fighting addiction. A baby was the last thing Rachel needed.

But she was pregnant. And sixteen.

To make things worse, many of her friends weren’t allowed to see her anymore, her church grew cold toward her, and even her orthodontist refused to see her.

My friend Rachel, now a powerhouse CEO and coach, recently reflected on her pregnancy saying, “I thought I had ruined my life.”

But when everyone seems to be closing doors in your face, that’s when God is opening one.

Your past mistakes don’t define your future: God does.

God Is In Your Corner

God redeems our mistakes and forges our future.

Once an adult things still weren’t rosey. the first day of their marriage Rachel and Michael’s gas was shut off. They didn’t have the money to pay for it. They boiled pots of water all winter long so their kids could take warm baths.

As Michael puts it, “Without the Lord in our corner there’s no way we could win.”

That’s the truth.

Everyone will go through hard times, we get to decide if we go through them by ourselves or with God. With God, hard times don’t have to make you hard, they can make you whole. With healing comes empathy. With empathy comes the power to bring healing to others.

Go For More

I often say, “Go for more, because you deserve it.” That’s exactly what my two friends did.

They looked at their life: no money for basic bills, fatherless homes, depression, overweight, etc., and chose to go for more.

What is “going for more”? It’s refusing to accept that what is before you is all you will ever have. It’s knowing that who you are today is not who you will be.

Be willing to press into the grace that God has for you. Don’t let the past dictate your future.

The Bible talks about “a woman […] who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had spent her entire livelihood on doctors, but no one could heal her.“ (Luke 8:43-48).

She decided to go for more.

Just because he said there was no hope didn’t stop her from crawling through the packed crowd to reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.

The moment she did she was healed.

Her past setbacks didn’t determine her future with God.

It’s been a long time since my friends have had to boil water. With so much success, it could be tempting to think life was always easy for them.

The truth is that while life wasn’t always easy, God was always faithful.